Assistive Technologies

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BUSINESS PROBLEM: The blind or visually impaired do not have access to the popular computer applications and information that sighted people take for granted.
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION: Assistive Technology Computer technology, including specialized software that simulates the human voice reading the computer screen, has changed the lives of countless individuals with visual impairments. Adults with visual impairments can continue to work and pursue a wide range of careers.

Product: GW Micro’s Window-Eyes 6.1
Delivery Method: Installed software.
Pricing: $895.
Functionality: Window-Eyes converts components of the Microsoft Windows environment into synthesized speech with nine distinct voices and in six languages (U.S. and U.K. English, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, and French). Window-Eyes runs on the Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, and 2000 operating systems and supports Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Media Player, Live Messenger, and Internet Explorer, as well as Adobe PDF Reader, Mozilla Firefox, Macromedia Flash, and PeopleSoft applications. Also included is enhanced Braille support, mobile and network installation options, remote access, and video support.
Business Benefits: Applications that use standard Microsoft Windows controls will be spoken automatically with little or no configuration. Additionally, Window-Eyes can be customized to individual work habits and preferences.
Contact: GW Micro at 1-260-489-3671; www.gwmicro.com.

Product: Freedom Scientific’s JAWS for Windows Screen Reading Software
Delivery Method: Installed software.
Pricing: $895 for the standard version; $1,095 for the professional version.
Functionality: JAWS software is compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, and 2000 operating systems and MAGic screen magnification software. It supports the Microsoft Office Suite, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Corel WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Mozilla Firefox, and a number of other professional applications. It also provides Braille display and output and multilingual Eloquence and RealSpeak speech synthesizers.
Business Benefits: An array of customizable options lets users tailor JAWS for their individual needs and preferences, and a talking installation guide makes for fast and easy setup. Purchasers also receive a free demo version of Freedom Scientific’s DAISY Player, FSReader.
Contact: Freedom Scientific at 1-800-444-4443; www.freedomscientific.com.

Product: Serotek’s System Access Software
Delivery Method: Installed software.
Pricing: Stand-alone applications start at $399; software-as-a-service option starts at $39.95 a month.
Functionality: System Access delivers full access to any computer running the Microsoft Windows XP or Vista operating systems. With just a few basic commands, users can access popular applications like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, and Skype. A single software purchase includes licenses to operate on two computers and a year of service upgrades. Additional options include male and female voices using NeoSpeech VoiceText, and access to the Serotek SAM Net Internet community.
Business Benefits: In minutes, users can begin accessing the Internet, sending and receiving email, reading and creating documents, and filling in forms.
Contact: Serotek at 1-866-202-0520; www.serotek.com.

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